Category Archives: Real Life : Dottie

That time Dottie joined a bowling team

OK–I know this sounds nutty and it is, but…

I joined a bowling league. And let me tell you, it has made Monday nights so much fun!

Karen from the Dames aux Gateaux started a bowling team over the summer of 2012 and asked if anyone wanted to take over the place of one of her members for the Fall league. And the response was amazing!  More than a dozen ladies signed up and we’ve been at it every Monday night since September at the historic Albany Bowl!

Now for me, bowling isn’t something I grew up doing a lot other than the random game every year or so. But there was something so cool looking about it in the vintage snaps I would find in most bowling alleys. For me it wasn’t necessarily about the game as it was meeting some wonderful ladies!

I must admit, I love that we often wear dresses when bowling.  Moe on the left makes her own dresses out of vintage patterns and Taggy Lee on the right almost exclusively wears dresses all the time. I love to see what she’ll come in wearing.

Speaking of vintage bowling style, I had to share these amazing photos…

I kinda need those zebra print pants…

One of the best parts of bowling of course are the accoutrements of the game. I actually now own bowling shoes very similar to the ones above. And I’m trying to get up the gumption to buy my own ball.  And there are some FIERCE balls out there.  I would totally buy the rose in acrylic ball, but they only make them in 14 lb balls and I use a 10 lb ball. Sigh…

And would you check out the terrific bowling bags too?  What can I say–the ladies know how to shop!

And a few of the luckier ladies have these great little towels. I’m not sure what they are used for… Wiping down the ball, I think?

Lucky Karen with her monogrammed vintage towel! So jealous!

But don’t let the paraphernalia fool you.  We really do bowl.

I wouldn’t say I bowl well. Afterall, my self appointed nickname is the Guttersnipe, but for me it is all about hanging with the gals and spending a lot of time laughing, which to me sounds like a great way to spend a Monday night.

I’d be lying if it weren’t a little bit of a dream come true to belong to a bowling league. After all, my two favorite TV besties played. And when in doubt, it is always good to base social decisions on LaVerne & Shirley.

Now, to get my bowling shirt monogrammed with a big L.




New Year’s Resolution Check In // Dottie’s Goals for 2013

As promised, I’m going to use this space to keep track of  goals I made for myself early January.  Well, I tried to keep my 2013 goals alive and well in January with decent results so far!  To keep myself on target, I thought I would do a few check-ins with you.


I kept my goal of wearing at least one dress a week.  But barely. I’ve decided to add skirts into the mix.  I must say for me dresses in the winter can be a bit tougher, but I’m buying some fleece lined tights to help out with that (when I would prefer a pair of cozy thick sweat pants) so I can have more than one layer of cloth between me and my cold house in the morning.

Some days I just want to throw on pants and that’s OK. So—most important realization with New Year’s goals so long—don’t take them too seriously! More like reminders than strict goals.  But I will say that when I did wear my dresses, I felt more put together and a bit sassier too. So, it was worth it just for that!

I included photographic evidence that I did wear them!  WARNING: I’m not really good at taking photos of myself–I’m always so judgmental of my figure/hair/etc., but I’m trying to get better. So forgive my totally dorky faces.  Any tips on taking photos of oneself would be greatly appreciated!

(Vintage dress with old v-neck long sleeved t-shirt cut down the middle and held together with an old circle pin. Shoes are from Dansko.)

(Black skirt that was given to me from my friend that lost a ton of weight! Westonwear shirt, black sweater I’ve had for a decade and those Dansko shoes again.)

(Dress from, that t-shirt cardi, and clogs from Hannah Andersson)

(Vintage dress my friend gave me and sassy/comfy shoes from Aerosoles

.  I can’t remember where I got the green tights, but I do love them so! Oh and the scarf I picked up at World Market a year or so ago.And I wore it with this coat I’ve had forever and some gloves I dyed pink in the great dying bonanza of ’12.)


This goal was all sorts of wonderful to do.  Since I was always putting off crafting for doing other misc. things, I had to make it a priority in my week, which really helped.   I forgot how much I adore it and how time seems to stop when I’m in the middle of doing it.

I’ve had this organization/purge thing I’ve been working on over that past few months (more on that later) so I had this desire to finish craft projects that I’ve had on my list for a long time. One of them was a quilt top I started in the spring of last year.  It was the craziest thing–this quilt I started. No pattern just a freakish need to craft that drove me to ransack my fabric collection and buy bags of scrap fabric on Etsy and sew them together.  I had sewn up the strips quickly, but by summer, they were languishing on a hanger where they stayed until a few weeks ago when I bought some muslin and sewed it all together.

And once I finished the front I had to make the back, which I did in a couple of hours! So, my work here is FINISHED!  Now, I’m going to take it to a quilting shop and have it machine quilted.  This quilt is headed for the Peach’s bed! Perfect!


I can’t lie–I barely made this one in time!  On Jan. 31st, I went to the DeYoung Museum in SF with my friend, Eileen. I think  lunch and a museum visit are a perfect friend date!  We saw Nureyev’s costume exhibit, which was magnificent!

I love ballet and I must admit that I love the costumes just as much as the dancing, so it was a real treat to see the details of these glorious outfits close up.

I knew ballet dancers were small, but these looked like they would fit small children–they were so tiny!  The craftmanship was amazing. Like this ribbon basketweave accent. To die for.

For February, I hope to do as well as I did last month with my resolutions.  Crafting wise, I’m hoping to focus on finally doing those little flannel smocks for the Peach that I’ve been wanting to do since… oh… NOVEMBER. And I’m hoping to go to SFMOMA for Paul Klee’s exhibit.

What about you? How are you doing on any goals you are working on?

New Year, New Goals

Image: the Murmuring Cottage

I can’t help it. I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions.  It always feels so good to turn over  a new leaf.  Perhaps it is my optimistic mind set, but I can’t help myself!  Last year was a year full of a lot of change and adventure and travel, so this year I’d like to plan on changes closer to home and that focus on fun.

I like to keep my New Year’s Resolutions to three. No more, no less… And here they are!

Image: Fine Art America

I love museums. I guess we all do, right? I went to a pre-school where art history was a focus and I remember my young love of Miro and Van Gogh, which continued throughout my childhood and even led me to major in art history in college.  I even worked in a museum for awhile and planned on a career in museums until I finished my masters degree and moved on to SF and started doing PR. For some reason I’ve haven’t made much of a commitment to going to museums and I miss it.  When I worked at CBS, I was within walking distance of five major museums. Although I always had this dream of taking a long lunch and checking one of them out, for the eight years I worked there, I didn’t go to a single one.  And that broke my heart.  But not this year.

This year I’m going to try to rekindle my love of museums by feeding the beast and actually going to museums–once a month and making it a priority.  I’m so lucky to live near several world-class museums that have new exhibits every few months.  Like the De Young, SFMOMA, and the Legion of Honor to name a few. There is also the new Walt Disney Family Museum, which I’m particularly excited to check out.


It saddens me that I have not made as much time as I’d like for something that makes me so happy.  I don’t know why. I think it is because I get so overwhelmed at doing the project and believe that I need a whole day with nothing to do and then I remember that no one sews that way and if I just do a half hour a day of something I could actually make a difference and really make progress sewing!

So, what is different this year is that I’m going to actually START and FINISH some of these projects!  Oh and I have plans, folks. Glorious plans.  Like making those little shirts for the Peach! And finishing a quilt for her room that I started last year.

I received Gertie’s Book for Better Sewing this Christmas and spent hours over the holidays pouring over the pictures and reading it like a novel.  It is a very inspiring book and full of information I surprisingly already knew.  And I spent a lot of time wanting to make THIS dress. I have a bit of an obsession with shirt dresses.

My goal is to make AT LEAST one version of this dress.  And I hope to do it by doing something crafty for a half hour a day if possible.

Speaking of dresses…

Image: Kelly Go Lightly

I have so many darling vintage dresses thanks to years of hunting estate sales, flea markets, Ebay, Etsy and vintage shops. They deserve to see the light of day instead of growing cold and bitter in the recesses of my closet.  See… I have ’em!

So, I am going to try to get them out. I don’t know where I got the idea that being super comfy means having to pull on jeans or pants.  A dress is actually super comfy and makes me feel so much better than my black yoga pants and ratty black t-shirts.  I’m not saying that that look isn’t comfy and necessary at times, but why not pull on a nice dress on the weekends for errands?

I’d like to wear at least one dress a week. And maybe even some dresses I’ve made from vintage patterns or that wonderful shirt dress pattern you see above that I am completely gaga for.  Now that would be killing two birds with one stone!

So, that is my year.  I like to think of these not so much as resolutions but things to remember that I love—and to stop putting off doing!

Sometimes actual resolutions are too much to even take on. Sometimes, just a word can capture the mindset or goal or bigger thing you want to accomplish. My friend Mary and I have been doing that for 15 years.  Past years’ words have included: libertine, floss, hammer, enjoy, baby, and bridge.

How do you feel about resolutions? Have you ever tried the one word mantra?

It’s official: the Peach has entered the PRINCESS stage

Over the weekend Peach returned from visiting her friend down the street wearing the pinkest of pink princess creations. But what made it work was the absolute joy and huge smile the Peach was wearing along with this polyester pink outfit. She held up the sides as if she was wearing a wedding dress and whispered to me, “isn’t this beeeyootiful?”

And then she started spouting off the names of different princesses to movies she hadn’t seen–Ariel! Cinderella! Sleeping Beauty! Jasmine!

Well, I knew it was going to happen.

The Peach has discovered princesses and all the glamour that goes along with being one.    I know a lot of women (including myself) who roll their eyes when they see all the princess themed stuff out there. In fact, I didn’t like it when family members would call the Peach “a little princess” when she was a baby. For some reason I connoted the word “princess” with spoiled-have-daddy-buy-you-a-new-car-when-you-turn-16-never-earn-a-paycheck lifestyle. Where I got this, I honestly have no idea. Maybe some random movie or TV show? I’m not sure.  Princesses weren’t about being empowered and strong! They were simpering seconds who needed to be saved, right?

And let’s not forget the pink princesses who reign supreme and assault you as soon as you enter any toy section of a store—yeech!

But hang on a second… if you think about it, Disney princesses are all pretty good ladies. They’re always fighting for their rights, kind to others, never giving up, and oftentimes very humble.  Not bad role models, in my eyes.  I wouldn’t mind hanging out with Merida from Brave. And I have a feeling Cinderella and Snow White are probably good eggs as well as animal lovers.

And let’s face it—those princesses have great wardrobes.  The Peach admittedly seems more enthralled with the dresses than some Freudian review of what it means to be a princess—especially since she’s never even seen one of the movies.  Then I thought back to when I was a kid and I loved princesses too when I was her age!  I loved pretty pretty pretty dresses! I still do love a fabulous dress and it hasn’t hurt my I.Q. or made me less successful or less funny or employable!

I’ll take dressing like a princess any day of the week over the Peach wanting to dress like a teenager and wear skimpy clothing. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that I will miss this glittery, tiara loving, pretty dress stage when it is over. Especially when it is this darn cute!

Have you dealt with the dreaded princess obsession? Please tell me I’m not alone in my mixed up feelings about princesses.

Bringing camping fun inside

Well, Labor Day in the Bay Area was blessed with amazing weather–perfect sunny days with a light breeze.  However, I could have used this wonderful weather earlier this summer when we decided to take the Peach on her first camping trip.  I cannot deny or confirm that my whole reason to go camping was for the s’mores.

We took great pains to find a terrific close campsite to take the Peach for a single night of camping fun.  We planned out meals, a quick trip to the nearest beach. Every last bit. Sadly we woke up on our chosen camping day with a forecast of heavy rain, so we thought it best to postpone the full camping bonanza.

However, there was no reason we couldn’t bring the Peach a bit of camping fun without even leaving our own cozy nook! We set up our tent in our dining room and planned to do all of the camping fun inside.

We added a few posher bits like two ottomans from the living room and our picnic blanket.

She enjoyed getting familiar with every nook and cranny of that tent and was fascinated by the see through part of it and the sleeping bags.

She enjoyed her burger in the tent and was treated to her first and certainly not last s’mores too.

The Peach and Eric slept well in the tent and loved every minute of it.  It made us excited to actually go camping.  We have friends who have a kiddo around the Peach’s age and we were hoping to with them some time in October. Crossing fingers that we’ll actually take the Peach camping this year. But indoor camping is a nice way to extend the fun of summer inside in a different way.

Did you go camping this summer? Have you ever tried indoor camping?